Arthur Green Asks Pointed Questions of Budget Committee

The following email was sent by Arthur Green to the Timberlane budget committee, following up on the report provided to BudCom showing budget versus actual for the 2014/15 year which ended this past June. The Timberlane Budget Committee had negotiated with the administration that this information would be provided by the end of August. As you can see from the questions, the report provided was far from complete – but no one seemed to notice.

The budget committee had their first meeting of the season last Thursday (Sept. 10). Unfortunately there was no substantive discussion of the content of the report.

Arthur Green

6:20 PM 9/13/15

to Cathleen, leedube, Tony, tom.geary, Dennis, Josh, Michelle, Richard, budcom2, me
 The report provided by the district comparing budget and actual expenditures for the 2014/15 year raises significant questions, which I hope the Budget Committee will pursue.
Question 1: Fund transfers
The total expenditures for the year are not provided.  The funds transfer items are either zero or clearly incomplete:
    1. Food Service Fund 5221/930:  Reported expenditure $65 K against a budget of $1.625 million.
    2. Federal Projects: Reported $0 against a budget of $1.24 million
    3. PAC: Reported $0 against a budget of $77K
The total expenditure shown is $60,523,786.  This is clearly far below the voted appropriation because the fund transfers are not reported.  This budget committee ought to know the bottom line total expenditure for the year, and I believe that is what was requested.   By the way, last year I had the identical problem with the administration providing actual expenditures for the prior year, and I was forced to file a Right to know to obtain that information in November.
Question 2: Encumbrances
The “2015 Budget” column shows a total of $67,727,827 for the year.  In fact, the budget for 2014/15 was $67,336,000.  The difference between these 2 numbers ought to be explained by the administration.  It is expected that there is some difference due to encumbrances, but the $400,000 amount of the difference is larger than prior years, and should be itemized.  If the committee is trying to compare budget versus actuals, this is extremely challenging if both budget and actuals contain carryover encumbrances from the prior year.
Further, given the large impact on the 2014/15 year of encumbrances (and possibly other year-end adjustments?) the committee should consider getting a detailed walkthrough of this past June 30 year closing, and the impact on the budget and actual figures which will appear in the current year reporting.
Question 3: Revenues
I don’t know if the budget committee also requested the actual revenues for 2014/15.  This is extremely important information.  The district last year ran a gross surplus of about $4 million before discretionary transfers to various reserves.  We ought to understand how much of that surplus was underexpenditure and how much was additional revenue.
Thanks for your attention to these questions.
Apologies to Julie Hammond and Kate Delfino – I don’t have your individual email addresses.


Filed under Sandown Issues

2 responses to “Arthur Green Asks Pointed Questions of Budget Committee

  1. Curt Springer

    Is there any concept of multiple end of year closings in the TRSD G/L system? Seems to me there should be review by the budcom before the final closing when the books are sealed for the year.

  2. Mark Acciard

    Arthur, Please be aware that the District has rarely provided this info without teeth being pulled. The question that should be asked of Dr. Metzler ON CAMERA, is why it takes an act of congress(figuratively speaking, I hope) to get PUBLIC INFORMATION? WHAT IS HE HIDING? AND WHY?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s